I receive so many emails and messages from aspiring makeup artists asking questions about what it's like to be a makeup artist, that it gave me the idea to ask 2 of my closest MUA friends some questions myself for this week's blog.
Introducing Renee Baker and Linda Perriton.... my dear friends.
Renee and I go back years - we grew up in Borehamwood (the outskirts of North London) and both studied at The London College of Fashion. Renee is a few years older than me (I like to wind her up about that!) but I was always enamoured by her beauty & her style. She was by far the prettiest and trendiest girl in our town! It was Renee who actually inspired me to really take the idea of being a Makeup Artist seriously.
We became best friends (we are a group of 5 best friends in total) because our previous boyfriends were best mates. Once they were long gone our friendship grew and 20 years later we continue to be BFFs with our husbands and children added to the mix.
Sharing a massive friendship group holiday every year, keeps all our families linked and also gives Ren a chance to practice her Tina Turner impression dance!!!! ( she'll kill me for saying that!)
We share a love of not only makeup but also Interiors, with very similar tastes we are always sharing our new finds! I love her very much and wished we lived closer so we could see a lot more of one another.
Luckily for Ren, these days she works down the road from where she lives and is Head of the Makeup Department on Eastenders so has lots of tales to tell. Enjoy the read.
At 26 I became the Series Makeup Designer on a TV show called London's Burning which at that time was one of ITV s biggest shows with viewing figures of at least 14 million! It was such an exciting show to work on as it had lots of stunts and SFX in every episodes, so we got to do loads of fab make ups.
I met my Husband Brad on the show and now we have 3 gorgeous kids together, so I guess that's quite an achievement!
Also, my father was a 1st Assistant Director on some big movies when I was a child including Labyrinth ,Willow & Princess Bride. He also worked on For Your Eyes Only and I remember visiting the sets and being in awe! I have worked as a daily makeup artist on a couple of Bond films, which was my dream come true! Pierce Bronson actually came over to introduce himself to me while I was having lunch in the canteen! I nearly choked on my food!
Other big movies that I have been fortunate to have worked dailies on are a couple of Harry Potter's, Star Wars, 5th Element, Evita, Sherlock and War Horse.
To be on the set of War Horse in the trenches with Steven Spielberg directing the scenes was also a career highlight for me.
I would love to make up the Queen. She is truly inspiring in her dedication to her country, and still a beautiful woman in her 90's
ON TO LINDA..who I like to think of as my fairy Godmother! (she is in fact my son's Godmother!). I met Linda through Renee actually - without ever having met her, I covered for her on the Drama 'London's Burning' (along with Renee). Fast forward 5 or so years and I had to go on Maternity leave from Loose Women and guess who turned up to cover me? Linda!!!
I then came back to work part time and we kept Linda on, which is how she became my dear wonderful friend.
Linda has had a really long and varied career (mainly in Drama) and trained at Granada many moons ago when you could actually join a TV channel to become an apprentice MUA ( they should bring that back).
She is someone who has taught me so many life skills. Firstly she is the perfect hostess - my family and I love spending a weekend at 'Hotel Linda's' and we are always spoilt rotten. She is a superb cook, so always has the most amazing snacks and meals going on...and is always shoving another drink in your hand!
She has the most phenomenal memory, she remembers names and dates like anyone's business! And her knack at making chit chat to people she's never even met always amazes me and I try really hard at copying her at this, because I see how relaxed she makes people feel, Linda is one of those people that when I'm having a tough day, I'll see her and burst into tears and she'll know just the right thing to tell me to make it all feel better. Love you Lin...Please enjoy the read x
I think my biggest achievement is to still be working within the industry after 42 years and raising my family...keeping all the plates spinning!
Working for Granada I was very fortunate to be able to work on some amazing dramas that enabled us to film abroad at locations you would never normally go to but the most exciting didn’t really involve a huge makeup job, it was all about the occasion. I was employed for week by Australia’s Network 10 News to make up their presenter to cover the Royal Wedding of William and Kate and because the news feed was live, the 12hour time difference meant that I was making the presenter up at 4am every morning. Our studio was a designated area within the colonnade opposite Buckingham Palace, Global News Networks had their own area but we were the only ones there during the week. Come the big day we were all in lockdown by 7am and got to meet our broadcasting neighbours...the atmosphere was electric and once the carriages started leaving the crowds went mad! We watched the service on a small monitor then waited for them to return for the balcony shot. To see the pomp and ceremony up close was thrilling and something that we Brits do so well and made me feel so proud amongst a sea of international reporters.
Bobbi Brown eyeshadow crayon
Smelling Salts...not a make up thing but my Mum always carried them. Sometimes I get a bit head achy or a bit hot (menopause..!) A quick whiff of them just clears my head.
Cathrine Zeta Jones...she's total Hollywood Glamour - it wouldn’t have to be a glam make up but would love to do a character make up.